I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Issues from the District 1 Round Table Part II: High School Crisis--Mental Health Breakdowns
bus discipline referrals, was that in at least some of our schools, mental health breakdowns are hitting crisis level proportions! One principal from one school stated that this was the biggest challenge at the school. It was stated that in the first two months of the semester, at this one school alone, 26 students were Baker-Acted, resulting in their removal from the school. Students were cutting themselves, acting out, and threatening to commit suicide. Extremely troubling. Answers as to why this is occurring in some schools centered on factors external to the schools mainly, including a continuing economic malaise that has left some families and their children hopeless. I asked the question "Why is nobody talking about this" To which I was told people were talking about this issue. I intend to dig deep on this and learn much more about the causes and to see if there is anything more the Board can do to help these students. This was the first I heard of what is, apparently, a very widespread issue in some schools. I asked if it was possibly drug related at this particular school, and the principal stated that he did not think so; This principal went on to state that he felt the district's drug policy--including and in particular the drug dog sweeps-were helping his school combat the drug issue in the community. Knowing how strongly the push-back was to the comprehensive drug plan a few years back, I was happy to hear this same principal exclaim that he thought the use of the drug-dogs was "Ingenious." Sounds like we now need a comprehensive plan to combat depression in schools. This will be discussed in the workshop.